Open flames, cooking oils and hot equipment, there are tons of possible triggers of a fire in a restaurant. Restaurants, cafes and other eating establishments are workplaces that are at a high risk from fire, for that reason fire alarm systems are essential for keeping restaurants safe. Fire safety is a major responsibility for anyone managing a restaurant.
In order to guarantee the safety of your restaurant and for building fire safety compliance, it is vital that an adequate fire protection solution is in place and that sufficient fire safety training is provided to all staff. It’s likewise critical that any fire protection equipment on site is routinely serviced so that it is kept in proper working order and prepared if needed.
Due to the inherent nature of cooking in restaurants, there is really no way to totally remove the threat of fire. Nevertheless, precautions can reduce the threat of a completely catastrophic event. Attention and care need to be taken at all time and in a well planned and organised manner.
Fire Suppression Equipment
Sprinklers, fire alarms, and fire suppression equipment have become virtually a staple in restaurants. It’s ideal to install automatic fire suppression systems in the kitchen which not only respond immediately to fire, they also shut off power and fuel supply to the kitchen.
Fire extinguishers must also be installed as a backup. Ensure that your fire extinguishers are serviced regularly and never out of date. Attention must be taken to ensure that these are of proper standard. Additionally, a thoroughly planned and documented maintenance routine to ensure that these are in proper working condition should be a part of your fire policy.
Fire Safety Training
While having an appropriate fire suppression equipment is important, its impact will be restricted if your staff doesn’t know how to respond in the event of an emergency. Restaurant owners and managers should make sure that staff members are also trained. Staff should be aware of how to use the portable fire protection equipment on site and how to properly evacuate in the event of an emergency.
Restaurant managers should develop a highly effective fire prevention plan in accordance with the Australian Standard, AS 3745 – 2010 ‘Planning for Emergencies in Facilities’. Emergency-related training is a crucial component of this fire prevention plan. The Standard outlines the minimum requirements for the development of the emergency plan.
Routine Maintenance and Servicing
AS1851-2012 ‘Routine Service of Fire Protection Systems and Equipment’. Australian Standard AS1851-2012 provides recommended routine servicing activities for the majority of fire protection systems and equipment. This consists of inspection, testing, preventative maintenance and survey activities and helps to ensure that the systems and equipment are in proper working order.
The standard introduces the requirement for ‘baseline data’ to be supplied for any fire protection systems and equipment installed. This provides a benchmark for subsequent periodic servicing activities so results can be compared.
Keeping up to date
Fire safety is an important responsibility and it can be difficult to keep up to date with regular changes to legislation, codes, and standards and understand exactly what the responsibilities are. Working with a fire protection specialist can help restaurant owners to stay on top of things.
Ensuring all of the required servicing procedures are performed so that the risk of the fire protection equipment failing is minimized. Having well-maintained fire protection equipment and systems on site could mean the difference between a minor fire and a destructive blaze.